Alexis Sanchez’s agent has responded to allegations of tax fraud by the Arsenal star during his time at Barcelona and has strongly defended his client.
The Chile international is reportedly under investigation for failing to pay tax on income totalling almost £900,000 according to Spanish outlet El Periodico.
Sanchez’s agent, Fernando Felicevich, has taken to Twitter to release a statement insisting the Arsenal star has “fully complied with each and every law in all the countries he has resided in”.
Denuncia de la Hacienda española. – Aclaraciones pic.twitter.com/ZXhLSEMtav
— Fernando Felicevich (@ffelicevich) November 1, 2016
The statement in full reads as follows:
1. Alexis Sanchez has fully complied with each and every law in all the countries he has resided in, so he has paid all the taxes to the relevant local authorities. Likewise, all his personal income and the ones related to his image right have been declared to the different national authorities.
2. The declaration from the Spanish revenue office is based on an interpretative change in criteria of the Spanish regulation that allows the payment of image rights to athletes through a company, as long as it doesn’t exceed the 15% of the total payment made by the club. Now the Spanish revenue office understands all income needs to be assigned in full to the physic person despite of the recognition of the tax law and the collective bargaining agreement of said percentage”
3. This new interpretation (of the law) is affecting the way of declaring the income from image rights received or receive by athletes from their clubs in Spain, being Alexis another one of the players affected by this change in criteria.
4. Alexis has declared and paid all perceived income. The eventual unfulfilment – that any case should be confirmed – has been motivated by the tax payments to revenues other than the Spanish, which has not recognized the validity of such payments, despite they are far superior than the ones stipulated by the Spanish legislation.
Sanchez is one of an increasingly long line of players who have been alleged to have committed tax fraud while at Barcelona.
Most notably, Lionel Messi was found guilty of the offence early this year and handed a 21- month prison sentence – although under Spanish law the sentence can be suspended – meaning the Argentine avoided prison time.